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In Pictures: Capturing the first few hours of the election count at St Mary’s Hall

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Tension is rising here at St Mary’s Hall as the local and European election boxes, along with the Divorce Referendum decision, are being tallied up.

We are keeping up-to-date with all the events as it happens on our Live Blog, as well as Twitter updates as they come through.

Almost 63,000 people are registered to vote across Laois. Nineteen seats are waiting to the filled with 39 candidates standing across the county.

In Laois, the three electoral areas are marked out as; Portlaoise, Graiguecullen-Portarlington and Borris-In-Ossory-Mountmellick.

Local candidates have been coming and going all day, with family members and Party supporters doing the job of tallies for the local areas.

With fewer than ever candidates putting themselves forward for local elections across the country this year, the Graiguecullen-Portarlington Municipal District certainly fits that trend with just nine candidates set to contest the six available seats.

Meanwhile, the Portlaoise Municipal District bucks the trend with 16 putting themselves forward this year.

In the Borris-in-Ossory Municipal area, there are 14 candidates contesting the six available seats.

SEE ALSO – Appeal launched to find missing Portlaoise teenager

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LaoisToday's main photographer Julie Anne Miller is a graduate from GMIT. Despite her young age, Julie Anne has years of experience in the food industry. She has worked in Tynan's at the Storeyard in Portlaoise, Ballymaloe House in Cork and Beach Point Country Club in New York. She has also contributed a food column to the Irish Country Living section of the Irish Farmers Journal. She's willing to talk about anything - except football!